On Friday, Kent Griswold of tinyhouseblog.com posted a few pictures of our house along with a short write-up from me. I am astounded at the response this post has generated on our blog. Before he featured us, we had about 4,500 all-time hits, now we are at 21,000, just two days later. Thank you, Kent and tinyhouseblog. Welcome to our new visitors, and thanks to our friends and family who have encouraged us to share our story. We hope you find encouragement through our story to live life YOUR way.
It is a new experience for us to open our lives to such a public arena. Opening our choices to public scrutiny makes me feel quite vulnerable, but also powerful. I am happy to know I am doing my best and living my life by my own internal compass.
There are some people out there willing to spend time in judgement of other’s life choices. What a waste of our precious moments on earth. Just this morning, our family had a lively discussion over breakfast about our life in the tiny house. It was in response to a well-meaning (I presume) woman who commented on tinyhouseblog.com. She says, “it’s beginning to creep me out to see such experimentation on innocent children.”
The kids were fired up! It was fun to see their desire to write a response.
Here’s what we wrote:
I appreciate you taking the time to voice your concerns for children. I, too, am a teacher (public school) who has concern for children as the future leaders of our world. Your comment brought up a fun breakfast table discussion and a passionate response from Ella and Archer, who have composed their own responses to your concerns (below).
There are a few assumptions you’ve made that we want to clarify for you:
1)We do not live remotely–we live in a rural environment. Our land (3 acres) is 1 mile from school and 2 miles from town.
2)Our children are not home-schooled (though I’ve considered it). They are successful students in public school.
3)Our children have lots of friends and regular playdates (at the tiny house and at friends’ houses).
4)The tiny house is a step in a long-term plan. We have made a conscious decision to stay mortgage-free. We are saving as we go, with our final goal being a house (about 1,000 sq. ft.), so that we can each have a small room for our own creative endeavors. In the end, what we will have taught (and are teaching) our children is that one does not have to buy into the cultural belief that a house has to be a certain size, and one must own certain things for happiness. We will have taught them that to reach a goal, one needs a solid plan and the ability to sacrifice desires in order to fulfill REAL needs. We will have taught them that a life without debt means true freedom. I wish you nothing but the best.
TO ALL FAMILIES CONSIDERING A TINY HOUSE:
This is a real option, with so many lessons and joys. There are obviously people ready to judge the decision to go against the mainstream, but as you will read from our kids’ passionate responses below, this choice has been a blessing to our family. We encourage you to go for it! Being mortgage-free is worth the sacrifices and challenges, and you can keep saving and build a bigger house if you feel the need for more space.
From Brother (age 7):
Living in this tiny house doesn’t affect me in a bad way. We play outside a lot. I have a lot of friends. They even come over for playdates, and we have fun in the woods.
From Sister (age 8):
Living in a tiny house affects us in a good way. Every Saturday and Sunday, we play imaginary games outside. We have great adventures with our neighbor friends. They don’t even need an invitation to come over! Last week, we all went sledding together. My mom and dad are not evil scientists and would never experiment on me. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
The tiny house does not scar us for life, but it teaches us stuff. Here are some things the tiny house taught us:
1) TVs take away your privilege to go outside.
2) We have learned to get along and communicate with each other a lot better.
3) We can live in a small space and still have a good life.
Here’s to the simple life!
Tiny House Family